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Black Tie International:
The Ninth Annual National Meningitis Association
Give Kids A Shot Gala Celebration
Photos by:  Joyce Brooks/
Honoree, Rod Gilbert.  Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Honoree, Rod Gilbert, Nancy Ford Springer Award
Former New York Rangers Right Wing
Inductee to the Hockey Hall of fame







635 West 42nd Street

MONDAY, MAY 8, 2017

Paul A. Offit, MD.  Photo by: Joyce Brooks/
Paul A. Offit, MD
Chief of the  Division of Infectious Diseases
Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Sara Herbert Galloway, Gala Chair and Judy Gilbert, Honorary Committee.  Photo by:  Joyce brooks/
Sara Herbert Galloway, Gala Chair and Judy Gilbert, Honorary Committee
Gary Springer, Gala Chair.  Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Gary Springer, Gala Chair
Honoree, Kayla St. Pierre, T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Award.  Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Honoree, Kayla St. Pierre, T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Award
Nurse, Educational Speaker, Survivor and Advocate
Honoree, Francesca Testa, T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Award.  Photo by:  Joyce brooks/
Honoree, Francesca Testa, T.E.A.M. Outstanding Service Award
Educational Speaker, Student, Survivor and Advocate
Errol Rappaport, Gala Chair with Cognac Wellerlane.  Photo by: Joyce Brooks/
Errol Rappaport, Gala Chair with Cognac Wellerlane
Leslie Maier  - Secretary/Treasurer  Lori Buher Director .  Photo by: Joyce Brooks/
Leslie Maier  - Secretary/Treasurer  Lori Buher Director 
Dell Miller - Associate Committee and Pedro Pimenta T.E.A.M Member.Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Dell Miller - Associate Committee and Pedro Pimenta T.E.A.M Member
Honoree, Rod Gilbert, Alana Galloway, Associate Committee and  Barry Klarberg.  Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Honoree, Rod Gilbert, Alana Galloway, Associate Committee and
Barry Klarberg, Benefit Committee
Gary Springer, Gala Chair and Joyce Brooks, Benefit Committee.   Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Gary Springer, Gala Chair and Joyce Brooks, Benefit Committee
Heather Randal, Joe Sirola, Cindy Mainangel
Heather Randal, Honorary Committee,  Joe Sirola, Benefit Committee
 and  Cindy Marinangel, Benefit Committee
Errol Rappaport, Gala Chair,  Cindy Marinangel, Benefit Committee,
Honoree, Rod Gilbert, Rita Cosby, Benefit Committee and
Tomaczek Bednarek, Benefit Committee
Gary Swanson, Benefit Committee.  Photo by: Joyce Brooks/
Gary Swanson, Benefit Committee
Jorel Roth - Associate Committee .  Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Jorel Roth - Associate Committee 
Ron Ferri, Silent Auction.  Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Ron Ferri, Silent Auction
Honoree Rod Gilbert and Joyce Brooks, Benefit Committee.  Photo by: Joyce Brooks/
Honoree Rod Gilbert and Joyce Brooks, Benefit Committee
Honoree, Rod Gilbert, Gary Swanson, Benefit Committe, Rita Cosby, Benefit Committee, Tomaczek Bednarek, Benefit Committee, Cindy Marinangel,, Benefit Committee, Errol Rappaport, Gala Chair, Gary Springer Gala Chair.  Photo by:  Joyce Brooks/
Honoree, Rod Gilbert, Gary Swanson, Benefit Committee, Elise Richards Spinelli, Rita Cosby, Benefit Committee, Tomaczek Bednarek, Benefit Committee, Cindy Marinangel,, Benefit Committee, Errol Rappaport, Gala Chair, Sorcha McCrohan,
 Gary Springer Gala Chair
Samantha Bennett, aka Painter Sam.  Photo by:  Joyce brooks/
Samantha Bennett, aka Painter Sam
NMA and Butterfly Collection Chair

When I think of the Soul
of a Child that has Died
I Picture a Butterfly
so Beautiful and Brave
I ask Myself
Is this a Child I could have Saved?
Music and Lyrics written for NMA by Paul Hampton

New York: Hall of Fame Hockey Player and NY Ranger Legend Rod Gilbert was celebrated by the National Meningitis Association with the Nancy Ford Springer Award at its Ninth Annual “Give Kids a Shot!” Gala. This year’s benefit took place at ESPACE (635 West 42nd Street) on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 6:30pm.

Ambassador and Mrs. John L. Loeb, Jr. are Honorary Chairs and this year’s event chairs were Lenore Cooney, Sara Herbert-Galloway, Errol Rappaport, and Gary Springer.

The Nancy Ford Springer Award was created to honor the memory of Nancy Ford Springer, a founder of NMA. Nancy was tireless in her efforts to develop NMA, educate the public and policy makers, and help countless individuals and families affected by the disease. This award is given to individuals whose commitment to supporting NMA’s mission reflects Nancy’s dedication and spirit.

Past recipients of this award include: Melanie Benn, John Kach, and Nick Springer (2009), Adam Graves (2010), Richard Thomas (2011), Sara Herbert-Galloway & Barry J. Klarberg (2012) Senator Jack Hart (2013), Errol Rappaport (2014), Kevin Carroll, MC, CP, FAAOP (2015) and Deion Branch (2016).


His professional athletic accomplishments and outstanding civic involvement have earned Rod Gilbert, the title “Mr. New York Hockey.” This blue-shirt Hall of Famer is the all-time leading scorer of the New York Rangers, holding virtually all of the team’s scoring records. The speedy right wing with a rocket shot was also an eight-time All-Star. In 1976 he received the Masterton Trophy, which is awarded annually to the player “who best exemplifies the quality of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” In 1991, he was awarded the prestigious Lester Patrick Trophy for his outstanding contributions to hockey in the US.


Perhaps the hockey award that is most indicative of Rod’s affable character is the one he won five times in his career, the Frank Boucher Trophy. It is presented annually by the Rangers Fan Club to “the most popular player on and off the ice.”


Recently, Rod’s charitable contributions have garnered praise that rivals his athletic accolades. He has received two of the city’s highest honors - the Bronze Medallion of the City of New York and the Key to the City of New York.


When Rod hung up his skates, the Rangers wasted little time making him the first player in team history to have his number retired. In an emotional night at the Madison Square Garden, Gilbert’s number 7 was raised to the Garden rafters. Soon after, he was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, the greatest honor of them all.


“I was introduced to NMA through Nick and Gary Springer when the organization first began. Nick is a meningitis survivor and an inspiration. The work NMA does to is truly awe-inspiring. Because of their work, more and more people are aware of meningitis, its symptoms as well as available immunizations. In simpler terms the work they do saves lives. I am honored to be this year’s recipient of the Nancy Ford Springer Award.”

NMA Honoree and Hockey Hall of Famer Rod Gilbert.


Nancy was a true hero, not only for our family but for many families dealing with meningitis.  Her dedication and persistence to spreading the word about meningitis helped pass laws and  offer families hope.  Rod has been a long-time friend and was there when our son Nick contracted the disease. He has seen its effects as well as all the good that has come from the NMA and has supported the organization from the very beginning. We are proud to recognize Rod with this year’s Nancy Ford Springer Award.”   

                                                                NMA Gala Chair, Gary Springer

“Rod has been a generous and dedicated supporter and friend of NMA since we began; he personifies what the Nancy Ford Springer Award embodies, and I am thrilled that we will be able to celebrate this amazing man on May 8th.”
NMA President, Lynn Bozof


The National Meningitis Association (NMA) works to protect families from the devastating effects of meningococcal disease by educating the public, medical professionals and others about the disease and vaccines available to prevent it. NMA was formed in 2002 by parents whose children died or live with permanent disabilities from meningococcal disease. Like many families, NMA’s founders were unaware that meningococcal disease vaccination could have prevented their anguish.


Since NMA was founded, great strides have been made in meningitis prevention. NMA has supported the creation of broad recommendations for meningococcal vaccines to protect all preteens and teens, worked to advocate for state vaccination requirements and helped increase awareness and vaccine uptake. The organization also provides emotional support for individuals and families who have experienced meningococcal disease. To accomplish its goals, NMA develops programs and resources that reach audiences on national and grassroots levels. Parents, disease survivors and other family members help carry out NMA’s mission by conducting community awareness activities across the country through two key programs: Moms on Meningitis (M.O.M.s) and Together Educating About Meningitis (T.E.A.M.).

Together we can make a difference... 


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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